White flecks. They pattered gently against the rim of his woollen cap and settled softly on his lashes, giving him a taste of what Winter was going to be like this year. Raising his face skywards, he breathed deeply in, closing his eyes and allowing the snow to caress the skin, like the silky embrace of a distracted lover. Having his fill, his steps turned homewards, where she’d be waiting for him.
Trudging along past the snowbanks, his gait slowed once opposite Edgar’s house. A candle flickered in the window and the curtain covering the window moved, almost too quickly. White curtains, he noted absent-mindedly. Edgar probably didn’t want him ruining the holiday mood. Who could blame him? All year long, he’d shared his woes. Christmas was probably the time to leave him alone.
A few more strides brought him to the portico of his own house. There it was, his very own white pathway, those cobbled stones of gravel smothered under the seasonal blanket. He paused to drink in the pristine beauty of the whiteness and sighed.
Opening the door, he stood for a few seconds, indecision swaying his resolve, like the chilly nip of Jack Frost. Shaking himself, he walked quickly up the stairs, taking them two at a time and walking over to the dresser, yanked open the drawer. It lay there, on the top layer of his white vests.
Fishing it out with one hand, he cradled it in the palm of his hand, watching it with the love of a father for his own son. Turning on his heel, he marched down the stairs and found her where he’d seen her, at the foot of the stairs. Raising his arm, he paused for a millisecond to look at the whites of her eyes. Calmly, he pulled the trigger. The blast of the shot was muffled by the silencer that the gun wore.
Dropping the gun before her, he pulled out the box from his left jacket pocket and threw it down beside the smoking evidence. Without a backward glance, he thrust both hands in his pockets and walked out the door, whistling ‘It’s a White Christmas‘ in a loud tone.
An Hour Later
Evelyn pulled into the driveway and noticed that the front door was wide open. Grumbling, she got out of the car, boots sinking in the lush snow.
Trust him to let the chill into the house, she fumed inwardly.
Striding into the house, boots sounding furious on the wooden floor, she screamed as she took in the scene before her. At the foot of the stairs, were the remnants of his deed. Hands shaking, she dropped to her knees and gingerly touched the clasp on the white ivory box. The clasp swung open and she saw the note inside. Trembling, she opened it to read:
It’s Christmas, Eve. That means I am free.
Your constant superiority, the fact that you make me feel worthless, the way you make me account for every damn penny spent, I’ve had it. So, here’s a souvenir. Look at it and remember that it could have been you. But, I’m in the mood to forgive.
Don’t come looking for me, because I’ll be long gone. Find another guy to torment. Or not.
Evelyn’s eyes took in the white gun at her feet. Her gaze traveled upwards to see the victim.
Her portrait looked back at her, minus the face, the bust and the hair. White plaster peeled from the wall where the gunshot had left a gaping hole.
White had always been his favourite colour.
Word count :598
This post was the Editor’s Pick for the Fiction Grid over at Yeah Write!
To say that I am thrilled would be an undertstatement!
Oh and as a bonus, it also made it to the Second Position on the Crowd Vote!